Coca Cola Brand Audit
This paper draws on Coca Cola Company’s concepts of branding development and marketing using the comprehensive framework of brand inventory and brand exploratory to show how the beverage products of Coca Cola are marketed and branded. Profiling how the products form brand elements, the discussion will lean towards the marketing program adopted by Coca Cola Company. The nature of business in Coca Cola Company portends the element of marketing that connects consumers with the product brand using strategic business units.
This strategy of success undoubtedly broadens the Coca Cola’s family of beverage brands; all in a bid to drive profitable growth as well as driving cost effectiveness and efficiency across the world. Coca Cola Brand Coca Cola Company is the leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of soft drink beverages across the world. It manufactures carbonated drinks mixed with syrup to largely edge in the market as a leading producer of refreshing beverages.
The famous Coke product forms the biggest selling soft drink in the world; a factor that is attributed to the effective approach the company employs in its strategic brand development and management. As a profitable company, it is evident Coca Cola uses a concise and strategic approach to brand development and marketing typical of a strategic sales force that has earned the company a competitive advantage over other competitors in the beverage industry.
The global success of Coca Cola beverages rests in the ability of the company to create a brand awareness that leads in facilitating efficient programs to provide simplified solutions within the precincts of managing brand merchandise (Smith et al, 2009, pp 87-89). Armstrong and Kotler (2009, pp 243-244) acknowledge that Coca Cola, as a company that operates in various location, branches and offices across the world, develops its brand products in special beverages that can be delivered far and wide and the company maintains brand uniformity as well as brand quality.
The concept of branding that Coca Cola uses is inarguably a powerful model that enables the company to determine the success of its products. The beverage brand in this globalised company allows the chance and opportunity of building an appropriate brand image through its universalized logo. Coca Cola products present a plethora of brand meaning to the company as well as consumers and afford the chance of personalizing the brand with the objective of making the products not only appealing but also attractive to customers. Coca Cola Brand Inventory
According to Keith (2004, p 112), Coca Cola’s branding development and management is part of the business process that impacts on the executive decision making process and formulation of policies within the parameters of developing and marketing beverage products. With regard to this, Coca Cola has typically made its products to reflect a unique brand that portends distinctive attributes. The trademark of Coca Cola’s brand products, as well as the logo symbols, has been part of this marketing platform; a factor that has led the company to choose appropriate labeling and packaging criteria for its products.
In addition, an overview of how Coca Cola brands, markets and sells its products shows that the approach of the company to market and develop its brand product is aligned to the theme of forming an identity system of the brand, creating a long lasting image in the minds of the consumers, enhancing the interplay between production and consumption, evolving a brand entity and adding value both to the consumer and the company (Curtis, 2005, pp 177-178). The inherent attributes of the product and the idea of branding exhibited by Coca Cola inform the effective approach towards marketing a product within the precincts of marketing mix. Read also emerging business opportunities at IBM case analysis
Semenik et al (2008, pp 314-316) outline that the strongest link of branding development used by Coca Cola lies in the fact that its products form the company’s name. As consumers think of the company, it becomes imperative that they think about the products and this makes the whole company a brand on its own. As such, the communications features employed by coca cola in its brand marketing contribute to the company’s popular selling point of the soft drinks in the world’s history leaving coca cola beverage products the best ad largest known products in the whole world.
Accordingly, the fact that Coca Cola, s a brand, provide uniform products across the world leaves it as a fountain of beverage. The pricing feature of the company’s products takes a powerful dimension that enhances the products competitive edge in the beverage industry. According to Mantoya (2002, pp 131-133), pricing together with other marketing communication form the basis of a fundamental concept of branding strategy that helps Coca Cola in examining the benefits of its product brand not only to the company but also to customers.
Research shows that Coca cola fulfils the requirements of an effective brand since it is entirely a symbol and design that seeks to identify the company as an organization in beverages and gains a competitive advantage (Willows et al, 2006, pp 87-89). With regard to this, Coca Cola has developed a marketing strength by intimating the American culture in the beverages. This factor has made the image of Coca Cola’s products to be weighed down with sentiments chance emerging as a brand that consumers are passionate to.
Similarly, the ability for Coca Cola as a company to display the image of its brand on t-shirts, caps and umbrellas just to mention a few, extremely works for the company in that Coca Cola products are recognized and consumed by millions of people around the world. In light of this, the brand of the company explains why Coca Cola stand as a dominant and influential symbol of quality as well as enjoyment (Armstrong and Kotler, 2009, pp 189-191). Smith et al (2008, pp 65-66) further assert that the bottling system of Coca Cola strengthen its brand’s relevance in the marketplace.
In essence, this allows the company not only to carry out its business on a global scale but also to customize and localize its production and marketing approaches in light of diversified cultural backgrounds of its consumers.. For example, the bottling companies for Coca Cola’s products are owned locally. To avoid the competitive force that is created by Pepsi, Coca Cola uses a concise value chain that disintegrates its business approach into strategically relevant entrepreneur activities.
Keith (2004, pp217-219) contends that the entrepreneur activities contribute to the performance of the company in maintaining its fame in the beverage industry. The marketing and sales frameworks, inbound logistics, operations as well as outbound logistics are key entrepreneur value chain activities that Coca Cola employs in a bid to maintain competitive advantage as well as enhance a warm positive relationship with the consumers. To illustrate, Coca Cola achieves a successful brand framework due to its notable suppliers who include Spherion and IBM among others.
These suppliers not only provide Coca Cola with raw materials such as ingredients and machinery but also ensure that the health standards of the ingredients are in satisfactory conditions. In the same vein, coca cola has laid down certain standards and measure to ensure suppliers adhere to certain quality condition which includes health and safety measures, compliance with laws, standards and regulations environmental measures as well as collective bargaining.
Ideally, meeting these conditions leads to the safety of the consumer within the pedestal of using Coca Cola products and still enhances the health of the brand (Curtis, 2005, p 179).
Sources of Brand Equity
Labeling of the products range from the use of simple tags on the product to the attachment of somewhat complex graphics on the whole package. Coca cola uses this labeling design to characteristically create a situation where the label can help identify the product brand, help in describing the product as a whole and extensively promote the products in the market (Semenik et al, 2008, pp 213-215).
Extensively, this marketing communication leverages the brand equity and in the same vein, Coca Cola benefits from its element of pricing which forms an important aspect in the paradigm of marketing mix. Mantoya (2002, p179) contends that relative pricing of the products is determined by factor such as the size of the product and the packaging design, external influences such as demand , price elasticity, customer and consumers as well as Coca Cola marketing and organizational objectives.
This approach allows Coca Cola to quote pocket-friendly prices for their brands and thus expand the market size as well as leverage brand equity. The promotional strategy and advertisement explains the success in Coca Cola brand image. Coca cola fascinates its customers with the advertisement messages that are entirely brilliant (Armstrong and Kotler, 2009, p 402). Accordingly, television ads, leaflets as well as billboards form various kinds of advertisement that are used by Coca Cola.
In this sophisticated plan, Coca Cola continue to thrive in the beverage industry and creates a quality brand image that impacts on the psychology of consumers through the use of artistic designs, respectable charities popular celebrities and other forms of corporate social responsibility, to make its marketing mix a success. With regard to this, the promotional strategy that is outside advertising portends a brand milestone. For instance, the colors, as well as shapes of Coca Cola products, their packaging cans, bottles and labels, are eye-catching.
These elements create a vivid image in the minds of consumers making the Coca Cola’s trademarked shapes to be accepted and recognized worldwide. Using the red background, the marketing communication becomes forcefully, appealing and emotive. Definitely, this gives an impression that those people who use coca coal product seem to be enjoying. Thus, the innovative marketing design is a pointer to successful product management and development by making Coca Cola products very refreshing. Brand Exploratory Consumers of Coca Cola products have a world wide base owing to the factor that most of them feel that Coca Cola is a world wide brand.
According to Armstrong and Kotler (2009, pp 417-418), the fact that Coca Cola is a carbonated type of soft drink leaves many customers with an easy opportunity to use the product wherever they are and whenever they need any Coca cola products. In this light, Coca Cola Company has its products sold in stores, vending machines, restaurants and supermarkets across the world. In essence, the company has managed to win the confidence of its customers since most of them recognize it as the most valuable brand of the world.
Another strength that betters the recognition of the customers lies in the ability of Coca Cola Company to introduce other drinks on top of the famous coke such as diet coke, cherry coke, vanilla coke and other editions that have lemon and coffee. It is imperative that such a business move guarantee the customers a variety of products as well as tastes. These non alcoholic spackling brands are constantly marketed using powerful growth promotional activities that give the customers a moral boost.
Moreover, Keith (2004, pp 162-163) postulates that Coca Cola attaches great value on the consumer following its aspect of promoting a positive image. Accordingly, many peoples, potential and actual consumers of Coca Cola products, perceive it as a company of the people because its retailers range from large stores, supermarkets to corner shops. With regard to this, schools and other institutions of learning, pubs, restaurants and event workplaces take part in the retailing process through stocking the products for the consumptions.
This in essence fosters the relationship it has with consumers for mutual benefits. On the same note, the interplay between the consumers, the customers and the market in the soft drink industry, has made it obvious that most customers will prefer Coca Cola products to similar brands from other companies. The reason behind this lies in the ability of Coca Cola to overly change its strategic marketing direction to fully evolve into a total beverage company.
Coupled with the efforts for the company to campaign towards campaign for its brands, Coca Cola manages to communicate to the consumers any changes in the brands and marketing hence holding the faith of the customers and remaining credible in the soft drink industry. Significantly, a recent survey showed that as many contemporary customers have turned to eating healthier especially in pursuit of an inclusion of fruits and vegetables in their meals and therefore influencing Coca Colas approach to produce juice drinks, energy drinks and smoothies (Smith et al, 2009, p387).
This has made it to remain relevant in the market place by realizing growth rates in the product consumptions. Another important point to note is the packaging approach that Coca Cola Company takes. The company not only packages its soft drinks in an appealing functional manner but also in a form that double up as a communication tool that creates a brand character. Armstrong and Kotler (2009, pp 353-354) outline that in so doing, the customers feel part of the company and their consumption of products reflects the participatory role enhancing the growth of the company.
Similarly, it is evident that what contributed to the consumers’ belief in the authenticity of the products is the functional role of packaging which transcends the protecting the products and assuring the health and safety of the consumers. It is plausible to argue that many different packages of coca cola products, as in 250ml, 500ml and one liter are in convenient portable formats that are extensively more demanded and conveniently used. Improving Brand management and Development
Towards retaining the competitive edge that Coca Cola has achieved, its consider employing marketing strategy of price skimming. This approach is argued by analyst to be instrumental to the organization not only in creating an expanded market niche but also to establish a quality brand image (Keith, 2004, pp 223-224). For instance, if it quotes high prices for its products, it can consider lowered until the marketing manager realizes the appropriate level.
In addition, marketing operations of the brands should lean towards the developed market niche that the company establishes its entrepreneur territories in economies that are stable and guarantees a powerful purchasing power. With regard to this, Semenik et al (2008, pp 117-118) articulate that , Coca Cola will improve its brand management by operating in a predictable and well regulated business environment thus enjoying the benefits of establishing and setting long term goals, and strategies through planning.
By diversifying its product portfolio, Coca Cola can aggressively develop and expand in non carbonate products which are an indication of growth opportunities. The need for healthy drinks in schools and the modern beverage consumption market may see many people refrain from consuming Coca Cola products hence the challenge that Coca Cola may face is reduced consumption of its beverages and an eventual shrunk market. In a bid to cushion the company from such impact, it remains imperative that a diversified product portfolio will be instrumental.
As such the company can open newer door for the production of water as well as juices. Conclusion From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that the approaches of brand development and management taken by Coca Cola uniquely position the company in the market niche. The consistency and uniformity in the brand elements, attributes of the Coca Cola products and the consistency as well as the continuity of the marketing programs enhances the commitments and effective strategies of Coca Cola to create an everlasting brand image.
Similarly, following the thorough knowledge of consumers about the products of the company, usage rates, awareness and what the brand promises them; portend the efficiency in brand development that Coca Cola has undertaken over the years. The whole strategic approach in pricing, marketing communication and globalization of their products in a unified whole make the customers and consumers of Coca Cola company to feel refreshed and part of the brand that Coca Cola produces.
In essence, the packaging aspect leaves customers with the ability to identify brand equity and continue to be part of the coca cola success story.
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